The storm that had been Hurricane Irene crossed into Canada overnight, but wasn’t yet through with the U.S. on Monday, as floodwaters threatened Vermont towns and big-city commuters had to make do with slowly reawakening transit systems.
The storm left millions without power across much of the Eastern Seaboard, killed more than three dozen and forced airlines to cancel about 13,600 flights. It never became the big-city nightmare forecasters and public officials had warned about, but it caused the worst flooding in a century in Vermont, says Detroit Free Press.
Here in southern Vermont, normally picturesque towns and villages were digging out from thick mud and piles of debris that Sunday’s floodwaters left behind. With roughly 250 roads and several bridges closed off, many residents remained stranded in their neighborhoods; others could not get to grocery stores, hospitals or work. It was unclear how many people had been displaced, though the Red Cross said more than 300 had stayed in its shelters on Sunday, and it expected the number to grow.
In upstate New York, houses were swept from their foundations, and a woman drowned on Sunday when an overflowing creek submerged the cottage where she was vacationing. Flash floods continued to be a concern into Monday afternoon. In the Catskills, where Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo led a helicopter tour of suffering towns, cars were submerged, crops ruined and roads washed out. In tiny, hard-hit Prattsville, what looked like a jumble of homes lay across a roadway, as if they had been tossed like Lego pieces, according to New York Times.
Police in suburban Parsippany, N.J., had to rescue dozens of people who became trapped in two hotels Monday when a nearby lake spilled over its banks and sent enough water into the streets and hotel parking lots to swallow vehicles. Evacuees included guests who had fled to the hotels after heeding advice to evacuate their homes in advance of Irene.
There were some signs of a return to normalcy. In New Jersey, Atlantic City’s casinos reopened. New York City’s subways churned into action in time for the morning commute after an unprecedented pre-emptive shutdown at noon Saturday. Buses returned to service, as did some commuter railroads, and the bell clanged at 9:30 a.m. to mark the opening of trading at the New York Stock Exchange, informs San Francisco Chronicle.
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